We are all community builders. We all develop a community around ourselves through our choices: who we choose to spend time with, what gatherings we choose to attend, and how we host and show up for others. We may take on more or less active roles in community building, but we are still making choices about who and what we surround ourselves with, the soup in which our life simmers. What ingredients in the soup of our life allow the most beautiful flavors of our humanity to emerge? Can we draw together conditions that allow the seeds of potential within us to grow?
We also live within a broader society, a great ocean, that inundates us with it’s own messages and purposes, sometimes as a flood and sometimes in secret. The message of achieving happiness through individual effort alone has been a deep and pervasive one, contributing to our isolation. In these stormy times, the message of the importance of community is being remembered and spreading, stirring up questions of how to create a world that encourages community to grow.
In this blog, I will explore the idea of community, oriented toward a practical understanding for nurturing community in our own lives and the broader world.
For now, I’ll leave you with a story from the Upaddha Sutta of the Buddhist tradition. One day, Venerable Ananda said to the Buddha “This is half of the holy life: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.” The Buddha replied “Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life.”